Sydney icon ‘very damaged’ after arrest

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Danny Lim has been released from hospital but is still “very damaged” following his arrest, high-profile Sydney criminal lawyer Chris Murphy says.

In an update shared to Twitter on Thursday morning, Mr Murphy revealed the 79-year-old has been released from hospital with a plan for “ongoing monitoring”.

“Thank you staff at St Vincent’s Darlinghurst for the loving care,” he said.

“Thank you to the community for your love & support, hope to get our happy icon back with his smiles and his signs.”

Danny Lim has been released from hospital. Picture: TwitterDanny Lim has been released from hospital. Picture: Twitter

Mr Lim is still unable to speak and was suffering from a brain bleed after he was thrown to the ground during a police arrest.

Footage of the arrest taken by a bystander shows Mr Lim calling for help as he struggled against two officers who grabbed him by each arm.

The footage shows he is then thrown headfirst into the ground before the two officers place him in handcuffs.

On Wednesday evening, Mr Murphy said he would be providing his “full commitment to court proceedings” at “no-cost” to Mr Lim. Mr Lim has not been charged.

It is the second time Murphy Lawyers has represented Mr Lim after he was violently arrested in 2019 for wearing a sign sandwich board sign that said “SMILE CVN‘T! WHY CVN’T?”.

Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge ruled in his favour at the time saying “the police action was heavy-handed and unnecessary”.

Mr Lim suffered a brain bleed. Picture: Chris MurphyMr Lim suffered a brain bleed. Picture: Chris MurphyA video was released of the arrest. Picture: SuppliedA video was released of the arrest. Picture: Supplied

Mr Murphy said Mr Lim as “very damaged” after the incident having suffered a number of injuries including brain bleed and black eye.

“Bleeding on the brain has shown up in the first scan and doctors are monitoring to see how that unfolds overnight,” he said about Mr Lim on Twitter while sharing a photo of his injuries.

“It may get better or get worse. A neurosurgeon will make decisions in the morning.”

NSW Police are now treating the incident as a complaint and are reviewing it internally rather than holding an independent review of the assault.

“If NSW Police think they are going to inquire into themselves and bury the file over the violent attack on totally innocent Danny Lim, witnessed by alarmed citizens they can think again,” Mr Murphy wrote on Twitter.

Mr Lim's head hit the concrete during the arrest. Picture: Chris MurphyMr Lim’s head hit the concrete during the arrest. Picture: Chris MurphyMr Lim wearing the same sign around the CBD. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian ShawMr Lim wearing the same sign around the CBD. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

NSW Greens MP Sue Higginson has written to the Police Commissioner demanding the incident come under independent review.

“This type of violent arrest can happen to anyone, anywhere. It is so important to have independent oversight of police operations to ensure that this type of violence is properly investigated and prosecuted if a crime has been committed,” Ms Higginson said.

“The types of injuries that can be sustained during violent arrests can be permanently debilitating or even deadly.

“In 2019/20, the NSW Police were subject of 298 civil suits that alleged a variety of actions including assault, battery, unlawful imprisonment and malicious prosecution. This is more than one each weekday of the year.”

Mr Murphy said that Mr Lim was in a “poor state” while waiting for a “new brain scan”.

Mr Lim's head hit the flood during the arrest, with blood seen at the scene in the moments after. Picture: Chris MurphyMr Lim’s head hit the flood during the arrest, with blood seen at the scene in the moments after. Picture: Chris Murphy

A GoFundMe created on Tuesday evening has smashed its target, raising almost $15,000 for the “beloved” man.

“Danny is a beloved community member and brings smiles to everyone he meets,” fundraiser organiser Kirsty Mac said.

“Danny is going to need substantial time to recover. Let’s show Danny how much he is loved and help him with his recovery.”

Police say security had called officers to Queen Victoria Building at around 11am on Tuesday after the 78-year-old allegedly failed to leave the building when they asked.

“Police will allege the man was subsequently issued with a move on direction by officers and failed to comply,” a spokesman said.

Police will undergo an internal review of the incident. Picture: Chris MurphyPolice will undergo an internal review of the incident. Picture: Chris Murphy

“The man’s arrest was discontinued after he struggled with police and sustained an injury to his cheekbone.”

He was treated at the scene by paramedics who then took him to St Vincent’s Hospital.

NSW Police say inquiries into the arrest are continuing after officers form the Sydney City area command reviewed body worn video of the incident.

“As inquiries into the incident continue, an independent review has been launched, which will examine the actions of police during the incident,” a spokesman said.

Mr Lim was wearing one of his trademark signs during the arrest that read “SMILE CENT! WHY CENT?” on one side.

He is well-known for wearing the sandwich boards around Sydney, with some featuring the term “CENT” as a substitute word for ”C***”.

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